271: Lisa

Unreleased (1980)
She would later play down the association but this unreleased song was written about Revolution member and friend Lisa Coleman: a classically trained pianist who could be considered the fountainhead of Prince’s compositional complexity having switched him on to composers such as Cage, Debussy and Stravinsky. There’s no avant-garde boundary pushing on Lisa but what there is is a simple, sleek and hypnotic groove. Prince showing off his keyboard dexterity to his new bandmate by piling seductive synth-lines up like serpents’ coils. I originally was going to feature the NPG song Peace from The Slaughterhouse in this slot but I listened to it repeatedly in readiness and my enthusiasm evaporated away. The beat, so solidly funky at first, seemed to show signs of rigor mortis with every replay. In contrast, I could listen to this lithe track until the sun blinks out in the sky and I would still spend my last moments on this untethered Earth groping for the replay button in the cold, eternal night.